Taylor Swift mania has returned, as the singer has in the past nine hours released her new album, Midnights, a separate “3 am” deluxe edition with seven additional songs, and a music video for the track “Anti-Hero.”
While Midnights was produced by longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff, three of the additional tracks find Swift re-teamed with her folklore/evermore co-writer/co-producer Aaron Dessner: “The Great War,” “High Infidelity” and “Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve.” A fourth, “Hits Different,” is an Antonoff/Dessner collaboration available only on the Target edition of the album.
“Surprise!” Swift wrote on social media. “I think of Midnights as a complete concept album, with those 13 songs forming a full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour. However! There were other songs we wrote on our journey to find that magic 13. I’m calling them 3am tracks. Lately I’ve been loving the feeling of sharing more of our creative process with you, like we do with From The Vault tracks. So it’s 3am and I’m giving them to you now.”
Dessner’s participation in the project has been kept a secret in the lead-up to its release. “I love this album and all of the extra songs (some of my favorites we have ever made) and it’s an honor as always to be able to contribute and collaborate with Taylor, who never ceases to amaze and delight with whatever pen she’s writing with,” he wrote on Instagram.
In a separate post, Swift pointed out that for she and Antonoff, Midnights is “our first album we’ve done with just the two of us as main collaborators. We’d been toying with ideas and had written a few things we loved, but Midnights actually really coalesced and flowed out of us when our partners (both actors) did a film together in Panama,” she said, referencing her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, and Antonoff’s girlfriend, Margaret Qualley. That movie, Stars at Noon, was released last week.
Last night during Amazon Prime’s broadcast of Thursday Night Football, Swift revealed that she made music videos for each of the Midnight tracks. She directed the first, “Anti-Hero,” which finds her tangling with an ill-mannered doppelganger of herself. Comedians Mike Birbiglia and John Early make cameos as Swift’s children during a scene in which Swift stages her own funeral. Mary Elizabeth Ellis, best-known as The Waitress in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, portrays Swift’s daughter-in-law.
Click here to read SPIN‘s review of Midnights.